Lesson Learned (Feb 26)

Today I learned two very important lessons: Do your laundry before you run out of clothes & don’t cook with multiple eyes on high.

I am going to Italy Friday and I thought I may need some clean clothes for the trip, so I gathered up all my clothes. I realized the pants that I was currently wearing could be washed so I changed into shorts and threw them in the pile. Our laundry room is in the basement of the building so the entire time I was loading the washer I was freezing in the 30 degree Irish cold! I ran back to my room to put on sweatpants and I realized they were in the wash, along with every other pants I own. The funny part is I refuse to pay for the dryer so finding something warm to wear tomorrow will be challenging! 

My next task for the day was to cook more than a pb&j. So I decided spaghetti would be a good idea. I began to cook the meat, boil the pasta and heat the sauce. Almost immediately I lost all power in the room. Apparently you can have more than one eye on high or the circuit will blow. After sitting in the dark for 45 minutes security got the power back on and I finally got my well deserved meal. 

Today I realized I probably will not make a good homemaker since laundry and cooking didn’t end in my favor. Oh well, live and learn! 

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Galway Weekend (Feb 22-24)

This weekend started at 2:00 on Friday afternoon. We loaded a bus to Galway, a long 4 hour bus ride. We mad a stop in Athenry along the way & got to try on some medieval suits of armor. This town is also well know for the song “Field of Athenry”, so if you get a chance look it up! When we made it to Galway we were put up in a nice hotel that was basically the Ritz compared to out dorm room beds. We were on our own for the night & got to experience the city. Galway is on the Atlantic coast and was absolutely gorgeous. If you have ever hear of the song Galway Girl (it’s in P.S. I Love You) it was all I could think about. It’s funny how my trips revolve around music here!

On Saturday our trip started at 9:00 after a quick breakfast, and by quick I mean I overslept and ate a croissant on the way out the door. We were on the bus most of the day on our way to Doolin. We made plenty of stops along the way to be entertained. We saw Kylemore Abbey & Kilary Sheep Farm. At the sheep farm we got to put on our rubber boots and experience real Irish farm life. There was the herding dog named Sweep who went to work right away. This was the most well trained dog I have ever seen. His master could have whispered a command from the top of a mountain and he would have obeyed! Maybe I should send him my dog Simba for a while! The farm was right on the Atlantic so we got to see the mountains meet the ocean. Besides the overcast skies it was beautiful! Of course while we were on the farm we got to see sheep and dig turf. We also stopped at a place call The Burren on our way. The Burren is one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe. I was speechless at the sight, especially when one of the girls  was almost swept off the rocks by the ocean. Luckily she’s fine, she was just drenched from head to toe by the freezing Atlantic water on a cold Irish day! Thankfully our next stop was our hotel in Doolin where we got to get supper and experience an Irish music festival!

Sunday was my favorite day of the trip. We  saw the beach, but most importantly we saw the cliffs. The Cliffs Of Moher. I was speechless at the sight. Pictures definitely cannot do it justice, and when I say it was breathtaking I mean it literally. Being on the edge of the cliffs looking down at the crashing water will definitely take your breath away. I think we stayed there for 2 hours taking in all in and I highly doubt we saw it all. The cliffs are HUGH! If you have ever seen Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, The Princess Pride, or Leap Year you have seen the cliffs. (Three of my favorite movies I might add). At the end of the movie Leap Year a proposal happens on the cliffs. I made Mama and Daddy watch the movie with me before I left & Mama’s exact words were “Oh KK don’t go there, I know you too well. You’ll probably fall off!” So naturally the first thing I do is climb over the barrier to get to the edge and take a jumping pic! Sorry Mama! 🙂

By the time we got home last night I was exhausted! I guess traveling cross country on a bus can do that to a person! I was happy to get to skype most of my family though. I think the more I talk to them & tell them stories the more worried they become about me though! Bless their hearts, I’m still here for three months!

CHRIS YOUNG (Feb 21)

This was a long day since I have class 9:00-5:30, but it was all worth it at the end of the day when I got to see Chris Young!

My sister told me a few days earlier that he was coming to Dublin so I looked up tickets and found out they were only 20 euro. Naturally, my roommate & I bought them immediately! It was at a pub called Whelan’s, that is only a 20 minute walk from our dorm room.

I was counting down the minutes to see him, and when 8:30 finally rolled around and he walked on stage I almost fell out of my seat. There were four men, Bob DiPiero, Chris Young, Kristian Bush & Brett James. DePiero and James are 2 well known song writers who have written for King George Straight, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw. Kristian is part of Sugarland, and of course Chris Young is CHRIS YOUNG!

They were here for the CMA Songwriters Series, which is touring the UK for 2 weeks. The set was the four of them on stage with a guitar singing and cutting up. It was by far the best 4 hours I’ve had in Dublin. Did I mention I was an inch from the stage and made direct eye contact with Chris at least 17 times? Ahhhhhh.

After the set ended they came off stage and stayed in the pub for a while. I got to meet each one of them & get a picture. I even carried on a conversation with Chris about being from Tennessee, then got a HUG. He loves me…..

I left the pub feeling a little homesick. All the country music, southern accents, and hearing “yall” almost broke my heart. It was a good way to celebrate being here for one month.

I also need to mention the Chris sounds even better & looks even better in person which I didn’t think was possible.

Bob, Chris, Kristian & Brett

Bob, Chris, Kristian & Brett

Chris Young slowly melting my heart

Chris Young slowly melting my heart

With Kathleen & Kristian from Sugarland

With Kathleen & Kristian from Sugarland

Hanging out with Chris

Hanging out with Chris

Visa

Today I spent my day at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Office getting my visa. 3 hours & $300 later I officially say I’m Irish for the next 4 months! Well sort of…

Care Packages

One of the best parts of being abroad is knowing you are loved and missed at home. Through pictures, cards, packages & flowers I have been blessed with great family & friends who have made me feel so loved. I could not have asked for better people in my life. It seems as though every time I begin to feel homesick I receive a package or card. I like to believe it’s God’s timing. Thank yall so much for the smile on my face!
I’m not sure which is better; knowing I’m being thought about & missed, or that you are willing to pay $60 to get a package over here! Trust me when I say it doesn’t go unappreciated! I tear up every time I get mail!

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Doors! February 18, 2013

I’ve been here less than a month and I’ve already decided that one of my favorite things is the doors. That’s right, doors. They are all so colorful and have their own special characteristics! Today I took a short walk to the park and this is just a short glimpse of what I saw!IMG_0625 IMG_0626 IMG_0624 IMG_0614 IMG_0613 IMG_0612

One of the best pieces of advice I was given before I came was to write in my journal everyday. Honestly, it has become my favorite part of the day. Today I took a walk to St. Stephen’s Green and just enjoyed the beauty of it all as I took time to reflect & write. Today the sun was shining, there were even flower buds! I’m chalking this one up to a good day! 🙂

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Spring is SO close!!

Spring is SO close!!

Guinness again. February 17, 2013

Since Lauren was here of course she had to go to the Guinness Storehouse. What else is Dublin famous for? We spent the morning trying to map our way around an unfamiliar part of the city on the trek to Guinness. Luckily we made it & Lauren loved the tour! I have to admit it is quite entertaining, even the second time around!

After Guinness I brought her into the city to St. Stephen’s Green Park, one of my personal favorite parts of the city centre. We could have walked & caught up for hours! Unfortunately, she had a 5 am flight to catch so bed was calling our names early!

One of the best parts of the day was the souvenir shopping. We bought each other Claddagh rings. A traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty and friendship (hands represent friendship, heart represents love, crown represents loyalty). The ring dates all the way back to the 17th century. What better souvenir to get with your best friend, right? (Plus we got a good deal!) 🙂

The entry to the Guinness Storehouse

The entry to the Guinness Storehouse

 

Ireland to London. So close, yet so far away!

Ireland to London. So close, yet so far away!

Our new Claddagh rings

Our new Claddagh rings

February 16, 2013 Howth

Lauren’s one request was to see the country side or coast of Ireland, so off to Howth we went! It is a beautiful fishing village about 30 minutes outside of Dublin. We took the bus out of Dublin at noon and spent all day hiking and trying to stay warm. We even got to enjoy some fresh fish and chips on the coast. It was the perfect day with my best friend!

Seeing the coast definitely took my breath away, pictures do not do it justice!

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Best Friend Arrival!

There is no better cure for homesickness than seeing your best friend. The road was tough, and I thought she may have gotten on the wrong bus but she finally made it at 9:00 this morning! I can’t wait to spend the rest of the weekend showing my best friend off in my favorite city!

Reunited & it feels so good!

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